“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Isaiah 50:4
The above words, spoken prophetically by Isaiah, truly describe Jesus’ life when he walked this earth: Jesus knew how to sustain the weary one with a word. He brought hope to the hopeless, life to the dying, comfort to the grief-stricken, peace to the distraught.
Since we are to follow in his steps, how can we “sustain the weary one with a word”? We are surrounded by people who are life-weary and heart-sick, but we don’t seem to always be doing that good a job at sustaining them – strengthening, encouraging, uplifting, supporting.
Take time to identify someone in your life who is hurting, then seek to sustain them by:
Spending time really listening. Remember, a three-minute conversation on Sunday morning or on a lunch break at work isn’t going to sustain the soul of someone in trouble. If your life is busy, schedule in time to be a good friend.
Avoiding platitudes. When people are hurting, the last thing they need is a flip response that minimizes their pain.
Choosing your words carefully. We tend to ramble on when we are nervous. Think about what you want to say, say it quietly and succinctly, and then stop.
Accepting silence. Don’t be afraid of silence. Sometimes, there is nothing that can be said in the moment of grief.